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Jim Rodford, bassist for The Kinks, dead at 76

Jim Rodford, bassist for popular rock band The Kinks from 1978 to 1996, has died at 76, according to the band.

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The Kinks, whose hits include “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” “I’m Not Like Everybody Else,” “A Well-Respected Man,” “Victoria” and “Waterloo Sunset,” made the announcement Saturday on its official social media accounts.

“It is with deep sadness that we have learned that Jim Rodford passed away – he toured and recorded with the Kinks for many years and will be greatly missed. He was much loved by all of us #JimRodford,” the band said on Twitter.

Founding member Dave Davies also expressed his sorrow over Rodford’s “sudden loss.”

“I’m devastated Jim’s sudden loss I’m too broken up to put words together it’s such a shock I always thought Jim would live forever in true rock and roll fashion – strange – great friend great musician great man – he was an integral part of the Kinks later years RIP,” he wrote on Twitter.

Although Rodford did not play for the band when they burst onto the scene in the ’60s, he was credited by Davies as being an integral part of “The Kinks” in their later years. Rodford would later return to the band The Zombies.

Three people hit by train since its debut last week

For the third time in the week since the Brightline train started its service from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale, a person has been hit by the passenger train, according to Fort Lauderdale police.

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Detective Tracy Figone, public information officer for the police department, said a pedestrian attempted to cross the train tracks at Northeast Third Avenue and North Flagler Drive when the gates were down. The person’s injuries are not life-threatening, according to Figone.

Four people have been hit and killed by Brightline trains since it started testing service. 

Friday night, a Brightline spokesperson reiterated the message from a press conference earlier that day: Safety.

“Today, we joined with partners in South Florida to stress our top priority - safety. Incidents like these can be avoided and train warnings need to be treated exactly like red lights, stop signs and crosswalks,” the spokesperson said.

On Friday, Brightline officials announced newly planned safety and public education initiatives in the wake of two fatal accidents in the last week.

On Wednesday, 51-year-old Jeffrey King was hit and killed by a northbound Brightline train when he pedaled his bicycle around the gates near the Florida East Coast Railway crossing about 4:30 p.m. on Ocean Avenue. Last Friday, 32-year-old Melissa Lavell was hit and killed near the intersection of Northeast Sixth Avenue in Boynton Beach. Witnesses told police she attempted to beat the train when the gates were down.

An 18-year-old who jumped in front of the train while it was making  a test run in July was ruled a suicide, officials said. The November death of a woman on the tracks was ruled an accident.

During the press conference, Brightline’s President and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Goddard said they plan to implement electronic signs as well as put employees at busy intersections as extra warnings of passing trains.

“We offer our deepest sympathy to those affected by the recent incidents,” Goddard said at a news conference to announce the new safety measures. “The fact that these incidents are completely avoidable is what makes them so tragic.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Florida group raffles off rifle to benefit children's program

An assault rifle is a prize in a raffle to raise money for programs to help disadvantaged children.

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Channel 9 found out that phone calls to buy tickets for the raffle go to three Central Florida county jails.

The flyer advertising the raffle was created by the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency.

It advertises a chance to win an AR-15 rifle. There are phone numbers on the flyer to buy $20 tickets.

Every one of the numbers directs the caller to someone's desk at the Orange, Seminole and Osceola County jails.

Some were perplexed by the offer.

“Probably a good value, but it’s very bizarre and counterintuitive,” said Andrew Shure.

Information on the raffle to win the $1,200 gun was tweeted by the St. Cloud police.

The local Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency chapter said the $6,800 or so raised would be used for community projects, like buying gifts for underprivileged children.

“They could raffle off a car or something other than a gun. That doesn’t make sense to raffle off a gun,” said Laura Stephenson.

Officials in Orange and Seminole counties seemed surprised that calls for information about the AR-15 raffle were going to county jail offices.

There is an asterisk on the flyer that said the winner must comply with applicable laws and background checks.

A member of this organization said that they won't really be handing over a rifle to the winner, but instead a certificate they can use to pick up the gun.

Researchers find meteorites from Michigan meteor

Researchers with the American Meteor Society found two meteorites just days after a meteor lit up the sky across part of Michigan, according to a tweet from AMS.

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“We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the Jan. 16th fall have been found in Michigan,” the Thursday tweet said. “Congratulations to Robert Ward and Larry Atkins on the first two reported finds.”

A group from Longway Planetarium and the Farmington Community Stargazer also recovered a meteorite and planned to share more details about its discovery, according to WDIV.

The meteorites were found near Charlotte, Michigan and near Whitmore Lake, according to WDIV. The AMS received more than 650 reports of a fireball from people in Michigan, Ohio and Canada.

Florida man accused of shoplifting, leaving child in running car at Walmart

Police arrested a man at a Walmart in Florida Thursday night after he allegedly left a 7-year-old child in his car while he went inside the store and shoplifted.

Around 8 p.m., a loss prevention officer spotted Derek Kingsland, 29, in the Jupiter store “looking around suspiciously,” the arrest report stated.

Kingsland attempted to purchase $48 worth of items at the self-checkout line, but when his card was declined he walked to the women’s section of the store, placed the items in his pocket and attempted to walk out, the Palm Beach Post reported.

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Among the items listed as stolen on the police report were cordless phone batteries, a knife, an air compressor, a ratchet and a Starbucks coffee drink.

Jupiter police officers met with Kingsland, who admitted that he did not have enough money to purchase the items and tried to take them without paying. He then said to officers that he would go to his car to get money and that he left a sleeping child in his car.

Officers found the child awake inside the car with the engine running. A relative picked up the child and officers arrested Kingsland on charges of shoplifting, child abuse, and use of an anti-theft device.

Kingsland remains at the Palm Beach County Jail on a $18,000 bond, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Arizona mother who gave toddler fatal meth dose receives 20-year prison sentence

An Arizona woman who gave her toddler a fatal dose of methamphetamine in 2016 was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

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Natalie Russell, 30, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder and child abuse, azcentral.com reported. Russell claimed she gave her 22-month-old daughter meth to counteract the effects of methadone. The child had accidentally ingested methadone that was left in an open container, Russell allegedly told police. Officials said Russell failed to get her daughter medical assistance.

Several friends and family members attended Russell's sentencing at the Maricopa County Superior Court, azcenteral.com reported. Russell's supporters said they forgave her for her actions. Russell maintains that she never meant to harm her daughter, and her actions were driven by her drug addiction.

Photos: Women's marches 2018

Vikings seek trademark for 'Minneapolis Miracle’ nickname

The Minnesota Vikings are the owners of a remarkable victory in last weekend’s NFL divisional playoffs. Now, the team wants to own the nicknames that have been attached to it.

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Stefon Diggs’ stunning 61-yard touchdown catch and run on the final play of the game gave the Vikings a 29-24 victory against New Orleans, giving birth to the nicknames “Minneapolis Miracle” or “Minnesota Miracle.” Monday, the Vikings filed for three trademarks for “Minneapolis Miracle” and one for “Minnesota Miracle,” according to filings published Friday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Vikings want to own the rights to the nickname on more than 100 items, including cell phone straps, football helmets, charge cards, computer game software, DVDs, compact discs and videotapes, according to the filings.

Already, the team is selling a T-shirt with the slogan, “Minneapolis Miracle 1-14-18,” ESPN reported. Diggs began selling shirts licensed by the NFL Players Association with his image and the words “Minneapolis Miracle,” on Wednesday and already has sold more than 1,000 of them online, ESPN reported.

It’s not the first sports nickname that has had a trademark application. For example, former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris trademarked the phrase “Franco’s Immaculate Reception,” after his last-second catch-and-run for a touchdown off a deflected pass that gave Pittsburgh a 13-7 victory against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs.

Riles & Co., the corporate entity of former NBA basketball coach Pat Riley, trademarked the phrase “Three-Peat” in 1989.

The Vikings play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the NFC Championship game.

Women's marches, events taking place across nation

A series of women’s marches, protests and voter registration events are taking place across the country this weekend.

This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration. In 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew a large crowd that marched in protest of Trump’s election. Women’s marches were held across the country and the world.

For 2018, marches and rallies are being held in cities across the country throughout the weekend. There will be a voter registration drive on Sunday in Las Vegas.

Police: Maine man punches himself in face to avoid sobriety test 

Police have accused a Maine man of punching himself several times in the face to avoid a Breathalyzer test, The Bangor Daily News reported.

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Police suspected Brian Fogg, 27, of Belfast, to be intoxicated when they were called to a residence on Jan. 13 and found Fogg’s vehicle stuck in a ditch, police said. Belfast police said Fogg and a homeowner had gotten into an argument, and Fogg allegedly struck and dented the homeowner’s car.

After Fogg failed a sobriety test, police took him to jail and attempted to give him a Breathalyzer test, the Daily News reported.

As officers were explaining the testing process, Fogg allegedly punched himself in the face several times, the Daily News reported.

Belfast Detective Sgt. Gerry Lincoln said that Fogg “took that option (punching himself), which wasn’t one of the ones we gave to him.” 

He added that because people had option of declining to take a Breathalzyer test, it was unusual for someone to injure himself to avoid it.“We took that as a refusal to take the test,” Lincoln told the Daily News.

Fogg was charged with operating under the influence anyway, in addition to criminal mischief and falsifying physical evidence. He was released on bail, police said.

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